If the question “How to start an online store in 2021” has been on your mind, you have come to the right place. Now is the perfect time to begin an online store. Courtesy of the global pandemic, online shopping soared at an all-time high. Restriction of people inside their houses and the fear of visiting brick-and-mortar stores have led to a whopping increase in eCommerce sales. This article is a guide for eCommerce for beginners, elucidating where you should start and how you should go about it.
In 2020 alone, this industry generated a revenue of $4.2 trillion. Apart from this, there are plenty of other statistics showing the massive potential of earning money by selling stuff online. Whether you are just starting out or already have a brick-and-mortar store, moving online requires starting from scratch.
However, the process of creating an online store can be quite intimidating as well. Lately, the query regarding how to start an online store is touching the highest sky. So, you want to create an online store, but you may have an array of questions about where to sell to how people will get convinced.
When it comes to taking that first step, this post will help you understand how to start a successful online store. Let’s delve further.
A Beginners’ eCommerce Startup Guide – How to start a successful online store in 2021
Here is a step-by-step e-shop guide that will help you understand how to start my online business from scratch, and how to make it successful.
1. Choose an eCommerce Platform
Your website is going to be your brand’s face. The platform on which it will be built is going to play an essential role when it comes to smooth operations. Thus, when choosing a platform, consider these factors:
- The type of tools your chosen platform offers to run a successful business
- The ability to manage inventory, create campaigns, sell on different channels, automation of sales tax, customization of the checkout experience, online chat, and more features offered by the platform
- Pricing package provided by the platform to fulfill eCommerce needs
- The ability to design an attractive and highly functional store
- Optimization for mobile and other screen sizes
To maximize your online store’s running and growth, you can choose a platform like WordPress and others that offer a broad spectrum of professional tools to begin quickly.
2. Comprehend the Target Audience
One of the essential things to comprehend while opening an online store is your target audience. This is vital to finalize the products you will be selling, the website’s design, shipping requirements, and marketing tricks.
However, if you have already finalized the product, determine who your ideal customers would be for that specific item. Analyze their age, location, interests, income, and other factors to create a buyer persona.
3. Associate with a Payment Provider
With an online store, your foremost goal would be to generate revenue. This is where you should ensure that your business is securely and smoothly accepting online payments. First, you would have to zero down on the payment methods that you will be accepting, like:
- Debit/credit cards
- Digital wallets
- Bank transfers
- Cash on delivery
In a way, it is always recommended to provide multiple methods to choose from. Then, select a payment provider who will process the transactions. You will have to get verified by the provider to start accepting money online.
4. Get a Domain
Once you have finalized the points mentioned above, the next step will be to find a unique, memorable name for the store. Brainstorm upon words linked with your values, industry, product, or the USPs of your brand.
Use these words together to form a distinct brand name. And then buy a professional domain for the site.
5. Start Designing Your Website
Get into your designing shoes and create a blueprint of how your website should look like. Ensure that it is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and unique in terms of looks. If you are using WordPress, you would need a perfect eCommerce template that can be adjusted and customized as per the requirements. If you are confused, you can also take help from a professional web developer.
If you are wondering how to improve the conversion rate optimization of your site, here is an amazing plugin that helps you understand your website visitor’s journey by checking the user session recordings. Humcommerce, a free WordPress plugin, helps you increase the ecommerce conversion rate of your website. Know where your visitors click, pause, scroll, and correct any issue that might be tipping them off. Check for dead clicks that might be leading to abandoned carts. Download this for free here.
Here is a video showing how you can use this free plugin to solve errors like dead links on your website.
To get some more ideas on the best WordPress Ecommerce plugins, refer this article.
6. Create a Branding Strategy
If you wish to make your eCommerce business unforgettable, you must seize it with an effective branding strategy. In simple words, branding comprises everything your business boasts of, such as name, color palette, logo, tone, etc.
Your brand should relate to who you are, your target audience, and the type of company you are running. Begin by playing with colors to create your brand palette. Ensure that the colors you choose are relevant to your products. For instance, if you are selling something environment-friendly, you can go with greens and blues. Put at least 3-4 colors and use them consistently everywhere.
Next would be getting a logo designed with legible words and a simple shape. You would want an image that can be recognized instantly, whether imprinted on the packaging or used as a social media icon. Your logo will be used to define your business.
Another essential factor is the tone of voice that you use in content. While writing product descriptions and other content types, keep your target audience in mind. For example, if you are targeting youngsters, use playful, witty words.
7. Outline Marketing Campaigns
Now that you are ready to make sales, you would have to prepare yourself to market. How are you planning to drive customers to your store? If you wish to know how to make an online store successful, campaigns play a significant role. This process should include both paid and free marketing strategies.
Some of the free marketing strategies include:
- Creating business pages on varying social media platforms
- Updating business information on these pages, including contact details, location, and website link
- Allowing people to leave a review on the Facebook page
- Post about every promotion, new item, and sale you are coming up with on these social media pages
- Build an email list and send newsletters now and then, keeping your customers informed about the latest happenings
- Optimize your site for search engines to acquire organic traffic
Some of the paid marketing strategies include:
- Creating Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns, targeting potential customers
- Setting up Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads on Google to target a certain query, keyword, demographic, and location
By now, you must have gotten a fair idea of how to make an online store successful. If you want to create an online store in 2021, refer to these points mentioned above and develop a unique, attractive, and revenue-generating platform. However, make sure you are prepared enough to invest undivided attention and effort into it. This e-shop guide can definitely help you start off with your e-commerce business. While the idea seems appealing, beginning an online store is not a child’s play. You would have to be ready to fight against all odds that may come into the journey.
If you want read about the mistakes to avoid while starting off your e-commerce journey, read this article on 13 eCommerce Mistakes To Avoid